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In Conversation With…

Pamela Permalloo-Bass

Pamela Permallo-Bass is a leader in the field of Equality,Diversity and Inclusion. In her leadership role at Salisbury NHS Trust, she 'walks her talk'  by educating and empowering her team. Be Inspired!

Pamela, what is your leadership style?

I’m collaborative, intuitive, compassionate and very driven.

Are there any individuals who inspire/ have inspired you whether you know them personally or just by reputation, and why?

I do not get excited about celebrities or hero worshipping. I am inspired by  people I meet in my everyday life ie: my childrens teachers who despite having to spend a whole day teaching noisy, interactive and sometimes in challenging situations still remain patient, kind and caring to my children on a daily basis, which makes my children excited about being at school. I have also had the privilege of working with people who are dynamic, interesting and passionate during my career, who have all influenced me personally.

How much of an influence do you think your upbringing has had on the leader that you have become?

I think the nature nurture debate is still current and worthy of continued discussion. Organisations can ‘nurture’ their employees to become future leaders, which I have seen happen. We have a perception of what is a good leader, which is often is related to personalities. I believe that leaders can come with different characteristics; introverts, extroverts, orator or quiet 'one to one' talker….

Do you think that work life balance is realistic, overrated or under emphasised?  In your opinion Is it gender neutral or gender specific ?

We still live in a society where caring responsibilities tends to be held by women; Until that changes we cannot talk fairly about work life balance for women.

Are you a ‘goal setter’ or do you just let things happen?

I tend to be goal setting professionally, although the older I get the more I have become spontaneous in my personal life.

As diversity and inclusion continues to be high on the business agenda, how can organisations ensure that their D & I policies are more than just 'tick box' exercises and really are creating change?

Understanding how it relates to them personally, for example: White middle aged men may have their own daughter(s) or niece(s). How would they feel if their daughters do not reach their potential due to unconscious and (or) organisational bias!

Do you think that quotas for diversity on boards are a good way of getting better representation?

It depends how it’s done and whether the boards and the organisation have a clear understanding of the purpose of the quota. 

Do you support networks that are geared towards supporting/empowering people who are often marginalised in the workplace and in business based on: gender, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability etc... Do you think that they promote/encourage inclusion and diversity OR separation?

Similar answer to the previous question, I’ve seen it done well in our organisation and we’ve seen benefits.

What quality/behaviour of yours would you like to get rid of?

What quality/behaviour would you like to have/develop?

I’m terribly impatient! Get rid of please!

I’d like to be more patient……

In your view how can women overcome the feelings related to concepts like "imposter syndrome"?

I’ve recently trained as a coach, I think women given the right tools can reignite that feeling of inner confidence. Coaching can be one method to develop this.

If you weren't in the role that you hold as head of diversity and inclusion, what would your plan B job/business be?

I would stay in this field, probably specialising in a particular area of work. I’ve always had a strong interest in mental health, issues affecting women in society and global human rights.

What is your favourite saying or quote?

We ran a drama performance during the summer working with a local theatre company and special needs school. The children wrote and delivered the performance whilst highlighting 800 years of the Magna Carta. One their songs was titled  “We need a system bigger than we are, things that you want to happen must happen”. This is my new mantra!

Thank you Pamela.